Catharism has left a deep mark on the South of the Tarn and its local history, notably Mazamet and Hautpoul. The heretics had made the Black Mountain one of their cradles. Head to the Catharism Museum in Mazamet to explore the Cathars’ history, everyday life, myths and beliefs
Once upon a time there was Catharism …
This dissident Christian movement appeared in the 12th century and was considered a heresy. The Tarn side of the Montagne Noire was a Cathar stronghold, a place where the dissident Church would lead the resistance. Condemned and persecuted, the Cathars called themselves “Apostles of Christ” and nevertheless tried to live their religion fully.
A rich and exciting museum
In this quiet place bathed in soft light, you will explore the Cathar way of life, beliefs and rites which upset the Occitan medieval society for three centuries. From secrets to mysteries, from stories to legends, you will delve into the heart of the Middle Ages, in this heretical period which left its mark on the valley. Audio guides, touch pads, videos, copies of scrolls or models accompany you through an exciting, precise and well-documented museum journey !
Discoveries & new horizons
The Catharism Museum is located on the first floor of the Maison des Mémoires (The House of Remembrance) in Mazamet. On the ground floor and in the basement, you can enjoy temporary exhibitions, models of Cathar castles, and the sumptuous lounges of this bourgeois residence… In addition, to better deepen your knowledge of the Cathars, we recommend visiting Hautpoul or the famous castles of the Aude.
Note: the whole building has received the Tourism and Handicap certification label (motor, mental, hearing and visual)